There’s never been a worse time to fly. With coronavirus cases surging in some states and more international borders closed than open, the friendly skies aren’t so friendly. But there is a silver lining. Many fares have never been better. Considering airlines are waiving sky-high change fees and dropping prices to fill empty seats, buying that $275 roundtrip ticket from San Francisco to Costa Rica in September is awfully tempting, even in the midst of a global pandemic.
“Almost all airlines are offering flexible booking policies right now, so we’re strongly encouraging people to book refundable travel because there are some great deals to be had,” says Raj Mahal, founder of the flight deals site PlanMoreTrips. A couple of months ago when coronavirus nearly shut down the airline industry and fares were in freefall, Mahal found a record-low $293 roundtrip ticket on United to London. It departs from San Francisco in December. For the price of one ticket during normal times, he scored four tickets for his family.